I love living in my adopted country of Mexico, but will wholeheartedly admit that one of the downsides of living in this beautiful country is the access to perfume. Mexicans love their perfume; when you walk down the street everyone leaves behind a trail of perfumed bliss. That said, you can find the standard department store fragrances without issue, but anything out of the ordinary (niche or high end) is impossible to get, at least here in the Yucatan. And forget shipping from overseas, Mexico, like many countries, does not allow for the shipment of “flammable liquids.” So yes, getting the latest and greatest new releases in a timely manner is something that I have had to learn to live without.
Another thing I miss is the ability shop on eBay. Instead, here they have a similar site called MercadoLibre. But perfume shopping is pretty much limited to the same perfumes found in the stores. Of course, that doesn’t keep me from scanning the site every now and then just as I did the other day. To my surprise, someone was selling an unopened bottle vintage bottle of Guerlain Chamade Eau de Cologne. They said the bottle was 200 ml and in researching pricing, I found it to be a pretty good deal. So I thought what the heck, this doesn’t happen every day and I have never ordered anything from MercadoLibre, so I went for it. The shipper said they would ship “next day,” but I have to admit I was skeptical. Two days after placing my order, a heavy box arrived from Mexico City. I opened the box which was packed perfectly and found the largest bottle of perfume I had ever seen. My first thought is that it was a factice, but once I put my nose up to the stopper I could clearly smell that it was indeed perfume. The perfume didn’t come with a box, and the size was not labeled on the bottle. After some research it was determined that the bottle is a 16 oz. or 500 ml bottle….for the size, the purchase turned out to be an incredible deal.
I love my Guerlains with Vol de Nuit being one of my all time favorite perfumes, but I never really paid much attention to Chamade. A light green floral is perfect for the hot weather here, but that doesn’t mean I would like the perfume. So did I make a good purchase?
WHAT I SMELL:
The beauty of Chamade is instantaneously revealed with it’s opening of bright sparkling aldehydes which quickly meld with a green stem-ladened hyacinth. This is spring in a bottle…I picture bouncing lambs running on hills of green. The opening of this perfume is utterly delightful and so incredibly pretty. For being a vintage bottle that is most likely from the 1970s, the top notes are surprisingly intact. The perfume stays in this greenish floral bliss for quite some time, but after some time its met with a layer of powder that smells like makeup. After more time, the galbanum takes front and center as the perfume dries out and continues to powder. The perfume is green without being too sharp and to me this makes this easier to wear. And just when I thought the perfume couldn’t get any prettier, out comes a floral heart with rose at the center topped with a comforting smooth vanilla and sandalwood combination, which helps to cut the powdery green. Here, the perfume moves from the spring to the more serious…or should I say more seriously beautifully refined and mature.
From the Guerlain website:
For the first time in perfumery, Guerlain introduced to a formula the green and fruity accent of blackcurrant bud, freshened with a green harmony of hyacinth. Lastly, this symphony is embellished with Guerlinade, which majestically showcases jasmine, vanilla and sandalwood.
WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME: Although launched in 1969, Chamade to me is quintessentially early to mid-1960s as it’s rooted in the past and not so much in the modern era of the time.
THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE CHAMADE: springtime, happiness, contentment
WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT CHAMADE: Yesterday’s Perfume, Perfume Posse
BOTTOM LINE: Chamade, where have you been all of my life? This perfume is so pretty and easy to wear that it might be one of those perfumes that just doesn’t get the love that it deserves. As for me, I’ll continue to search on MercadoLibre for the parfum extrait version. Chamade is truly a love.
- Bone Rating: 4.5 out of possible 5 bones
- Scent: Fruity Floral Oriental
- Nose: Jean-Paul Guerlain
- Classification: Leans feminine
- Expense: Varies for vintage
September 2, 2019 at 8:26 am
Great story. Congrats!
September 2, 2019 at 9:11 am
September 2, 2019 at 10:42 am
I’m so glad such a beautiful perfume landed in the hands of a person who enjoys it. I first smelled Charade at Christmas time, so it reminds me very clearly of that time in my life, but I love your springtime association with this fragrance. And I love the picture of the ladies in their Easter finery. Guerlain in Toronto just made me a huge sample of the perfume-maybe I’ll wear it today, a cool fall day with a brisk wind. Can I just say Guerlain in Toronto is amazing-they made me five samples of five perfume-enormous samples, 4 or 5 ml. My jaw hit the floor when I opened the box.
Enjoy your new treasure 🙂
September 2, 2019 at 11:56 am
Thanks Carole – Yes, Guerlain can be very generous with the samples. Those long tubed sample sizes are really a treasure. Enjoy!
September 2, 2019 at 10:45 am
Congratulations! You could bathe in it :-). I have never explored this fragrance and you just made me want to. Hope all is well. I will be in Mexico City at the end of the year and will ring in the New Year there! Much love to you and M. H.
September 2, 2019 at 11:58 am
Hello my dear!!! I never paid attention to it either, but I now am awake! Mexico City on New Years would be a blast….and maybe slightly warmer than in the NE? xoxoxo
September 21, 2019 at 7:03 am
I enjoyed reading this! Vintage Chamade is one of my favorite perfumes. The vintage PDT, parfum, and EDC are all beautiful variations on the theme. After coming to love Chamade in the richer formulations, like you, I decided to take a chance on a 500 ml flacon montre of the EDC. Someone had broken off the stopper, right at the neck, but my ingenious husband opened it without harming the bottle or perfume (and I had a replacement stopper ready. In some moments, I think the vintage EDC might be the best version of all–still heady with flowers but shimmering rather than somnolent.
September 21, 2019 at 11:33 am
Thank you for your response…interesting to hear your take on the various concentrations. I have been scouring eBay to see if there are any bargains. I have the feeling I’ll have a few bottles of Chamade by the end of the year. 🙂